Shipments of low-temperature polysilicon thin-film transistor liquid-crystal display (LTPS TFT LCD) panels rose 30 percent in September 2015 to reach 51.6 million units due to strong demand from Apple and Chinese brands. Total smartphone panel shipments grew 4 percent month over month to reach 160 million units in September 2015. While amorphous silicon (a-Si) TFT LCD panels continue to lead the smartphone display market, LTPS TFT LCD panel shipment share is growing, according to IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), the leading global source of critical information and insight.
“TFT-LCD, based on a-Si substrate, has been the leading panel technology for mobile phones because it is easy to manufacture and costs less to produce than other display technologies. However, since Apple adopted LTPS for its popular iPhones, demand for the new technology has continued to increase,” said Brian Huh, senior analyst for IHS Technology. “While LTPS panels cost greater, they boast lower power consumption and higher resolution compared to a-Si LCD panels. Greater demand for higher definition screens, especially in China, has also increased the adoption of LTPS LCD mobile phone displays.”
Based on the latest information in the IHS Smartphone Display Shipment Tracker, the market share for the a-Si TFT LCD panel fell 10 percent month over month, but the panel still comprised the majority of smartphone display shipments, reaching 79.6 million in September 2015. Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) panel shipments grew 7 percent to reach just 25 million units.
As a point of differentiation in the smartphone display market, Samsung Electronics adopted AMOLED-based LTPS displays in 2009. At that time Samsung Display was not looking to expand its customer base because Samsung Electronics digested almost all of the company's AMOLED capacity. However as Samsung Electronics' AMOLED smartphone business began to decline last year, Samsung Display has been expanding its customer lineup. “Since the end of last year, Samsung Display has been actively and aggressively promoting AMOLED displays to other electronics companies, especially in China, and AMOLED panel shipments for Chinese brands have increased remarkably since September,‘ Huh said.